It looks like the White House was not very forthcoming when they denied that McMaster was on the way out. H. R. McMaster is now out as national security adviser, and good riddance.
However, most of us saw this coming when Trump entered the White House and that is that Council on Foreign Relations member John Bolton has been named in McMaster’s place.
“I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor,” Trump said in a tweet. “I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.”
I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2018
Is this good or bad? Well, consider that the new position does not require Senate confirmation. If it did, Bolton might be in trouble.
Bolton could not get sufficient votes in a GOP-controlled Senate to avoid a filibuster of his nomination to the United Nations nor for a post at Foggy Bottom. He was instead given a recess appointment to the United Nations under President George W. Bush.
Bolton’s appointment will undoubtedly engage the US in more foreign military action, possibly in North Korea and Iran. Look for a ramping up of more questionable foreign policy initiatives which apparently come from his time in the CFR.
In fact, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Law and Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations Matthew Waxman praised Bolton as a “masterful bureaucratic tactician,” “crafty negotiator,” and being “thorough and methodical.”
I have not doubt the man is brilliant, but are a lot of the foreign policies that he has advanced actually in the nation’s best interest or merely policies in line with the CFR?
Recall Bolton’s history in some major foreign policy issues.
Bolton refused to provide information, including his personal notes regarding the Iran-Contra scandal, and aided congressional Republicans who attempted to stop investigations of Contra drug smuggling.
The Taiwangate affair–which involves a $100 million secret Taiwan government slush fund that financed intelligence, propaganda, and influence activities within the United States and elsewhere–seems to be in the latter category [‘fizzle’] at the moment. The beneficiaries of the lack of attention include three prominent Bush appointees at the State Department who, before joining the Bush administration, received money from this account. And one of these officials, John Bolton, the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, submitted pro-Taiwan testimony to Congress in the 1990s without revealing he was a paid consultant to Taiwan. His work for Taiwan, it turns out, was financed by this slush fund.
Bolton was one of the key cheerleaders for the US-led war in Iraq in 2003, and appeared often on CNN and Fox News making the case for the war.
Foreign Travel to Engage Other Nations
Bolton stated at a congressional hearing in October 2005 that it was important to travel beyond New York. Bolton said:
- “Well, I think that’s why it’s so important to work not only in New York…but to work in capitals as well. It is the phenomenon that sitting up there at Turtle Bay, that you operate in a little bit of a bubble… So that’s why this effort, I think, really does require a lot of attention not just in New York. If we left it only in New York I think we’d have the bubble problem and trying to break through that bubble should be one of our main diplomatic efforts.”
However, in June 2006 the United Nations Security Council reported that Bolton had not attended any of the four missions undertaken by the Council to foreign countries.
Bolton obviously has his sights set on overthrowing the regime in Iran too.
In 2017, he said, “Tehran is not merely a nuclear weapons threat, it is not merely a terrorist threat, it is a conventional threat to everybody in the region,” he said. Hence, “the declared policy of the United States of America should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran.”
Pat Buchannan wrote about this issue with Iran in 2017 concerning the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
“Iran must be free. The dictatorship must be destroyed. Containment is appeasement and appeasement is surrender.”
Thus does our Churchill, Newt Gingrich, dismiss, in dealing with Iran, the policy of containment crafted by George Kennan and pursued by nine U.S. presidents to bloodless victory in the Cold War.
Why is containment surrender? “Because freedom is threatened everywhere so long as this dictatorship stays in power,” says Gingrich.
But how is our freedom threatened by a regime with 3 percent of our GDP that has been around since Jimmy Carter was president?
Fortunately, Gingrich has found a leader to bring down the Iranian regime and ensure the freedom of mankind. “In our country that was George Washington and … the Marquis de Lafayette. In Italy it was Garibaldi,” says Gingrich.
Whom has he found to rival Washington and Garibaldi? Says Gingrich, “Maryam Rajavi.”
Who is she? The leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, or Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, which opposed the Shah, broke with the old Ayatollah, collaborated with Saddam Hussein, and, until 2012, was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State.
At the NCRI conference in Paris in July where Gingrich spoke, and the speaking fees were reportedly excellent, John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani were also on hand.
Calling Iran’s twice-elected President Hassan Rouhani, “a violent, vicious murderer,” Giuliani said, “the time has come for regime change.”
We will all celebrate in Tehran in 2019, Bolton assured the NCRI faithful.
Good luck. Yet, as The New York Times said yesterday, all this talk, echoed all over this capital, is driving us straight toward war. “A drumbeat of provocative words, outright threats and actions — from President Trump and some of his top aides as well as Sunni Arab leaders and American activists — is raising tensions that could lead to armed conflict with Iran.”
Is this what America wants or needs — a new Mideast war against a country three times the size of Iraq?
However, on a positive note, Bolton is known for his heavy criticisms of the United Nations, international treaties. Yet, I think his being in favor of the US taking unilateral measures to pursue what it sees as in its national interest is where a lot of questions come in, especially when one is advancing meddling in other countries’ affairs seeking to directly topple their governments. That is not what the US needs to be engaged in, and I agree with Buchannan that there are other means that could be used that will not put America’s men and women in a harmful situation and would seek to actually defend us rather than us being the aggressors.
As for Bolton coming in, look for a ramping up of more questionable foreign policy initiatives. At least he will call out an Islamic jihadi.